Rising to the Sunset
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. Marvel does.
Jean was soaring. Everything was a burst of excitement and activity and power. She was experiencing a strength she had never felt before. It exhilarated her. Images flashed before her. Liberty Island. Scott's present for her birthday. The Natural Science Museum. The first fight with Magneto. Alkali Lake. Her fight with Scott. The soaring crescendo of power that welled inside her to the explosion. The wall of water. Scott's face as she raised the ramp, locking him in. A sunset. A brilliant orange and red sunset. It appeared like a bird. A phoenix. And it soared higher, and higher.
And Jean's eyes snapped open. Reality was far different from her dream. She was looking at the harsh metal of the med lab. Everything hurt, especially her left leg. Gingerly, Jean lifted her head to look around. Monitors beeped and buzzed all around. Jean could feel their sensors against her skin. She had an IV in her left arm and a blood oxygen monitor on the index finger of that hand. On her right side, Scott was clinging to her, sound asleep. Poor baby, he had been with her since they found her. Some how they had been able to communicate through the mind link even though she was unconscious. That had helped him keep his spirits up. With great effort, she extracted her right arm out from under Scott and put it around him, gently stroking the back of his neck. He curled closer to him. His face was stubbly. With her somewhat captive left hand she grasped his hand that was around her and lightly ran the fingers without medical sensors on them over it. Gently Jean kissed the top of his head. Scott stirred.
**Good nap?** She continued to stroke his neck.
**Very. That feels good…**
Suddenly, his head snapped up and his eyes met hers. She could always tell when he was looking her directly in the eye despite his ruby glasses.
"Oh my God!" He lunged closer and kissed her passionately on the lips. "You were in my head. It didn't even click right away that you were stroking my head".
**My throat is so dry, it hurts to talk**.
"Oh!" Scott sat up quickly and reached over to the table next to the bed, grabbing a cup of apple juice. "Here drink this". He held the cup up for her.
She took a long drink.
"Mmuch better," she smiled. "Still a little sore". **Why don't I save talking for everyone else. I'd rather be in your mind anyways**
Jean smiled and playfully smacked the back of his head. He lay his chin on her chest and looked up.
"Scott! Don't crush her!" Kitty laughed, entering the room. "Oh! You're awake!" Kitty flung her laptop onto the table and frantically tapped something. "I'm IMing Hank, so that he and the Professor can come down here".
**IMing?** Scott laughed.
**Ah…technology**"How are you this…"
"I'm good. I've decided what my project is going to be for your class. I'm going to analyze all the data I've collected from the sensors in the past week and see what I can make of it. I find it really interesting. Like how the little bits of shared consciousness were coming into his mind the whole time and then the total synchronization when we found you was amazing. I want to see if I can find any patterns".
"Excellent. I'd like to see your data sometime, too. It is very interesting. How did you find your first mission?"
"It was really cool to be out there for real".
"She was very useful," Scott announced from his position curled around Jean. Kitty smiled. This was the first time she had really seen Scott and Jean be really affectionate with each other. They were usually quite reserved.
"Good day all!" Hank bellowed, as he entered the room followed by Ororo, Kurt, and Logan. The Professor rolled in last.
Jean smiled. "Hi".
"You gave us quite a scare," Ororo admitted, as she came over to the bed to give her best friend a hug. It was a sort of awkward hug, as Scott was still attached to Jean's right side and the medical equipment was on her left. "Do you remember Kurt?"
Jean looked over at the blue man standing in the doorway. "Yes. Nice to see you again".
"Kurt and I have been praying for you everyday".
Jean cast a curious look her way.
"Recent events have renewed my faith".
"How are you feeling Jeannie?" Hank asked. Logan looked up, surprised that someone else called her Jeannie.
"Sore, but not too bad. My throat is a little scratchy".
"Good. You're leg is doing extremely well. It set in the correct position, and its further along in the healing process than I would have expected".
"Well, we just wanted to stop in and say hi," Ororo began. "Kurt and I have some work to do in the garden".
They exited, and Logan followed them out, nodding to Jean as they left. He felt awkward and out of place.
"Kitty, if you don't mind," the Professor asked, "Hank and I would like to talk to Jean alone".
"Certainly, Professor," Kitty grabbed her backpack and left. Scott looked up, tightening his grip on Jean.
"Don't worry, Slim," Hank quipped. "You can stay".
"That was some show of power you exhibited out there," said the Professor.
"I can't explain it. It's like this tremendous force; a surge within me. I'm soaring like a bird".
"A phoenix," Scott said softly.
"Yes!" Jean exclaimed. "That's what I've seen in my dreams!"
"Why do you say that, Scott?" the Professor asked.
"The sunset, uh…right before we found Jean. It was this brilliant red and orange, and looked like a bird. Kitty said it looked like the mythological phoenix".
"That's what I've seen in my dreams, Scott, that sunset".
"That is very interesting," the Professor commented. "Once you have had a little more time to gain your bearings and catch up, I would like to test the extent of your increased power. But now, you need your rest so I will leave you alone. Have a nice evening, Jean".
"Thank you, sir".
The professor turned and rolled out of the room.
Hank reached for Jean's left arm. "We can take this out now".
"Good. I was going to do it whether you gave me the okay or not".
"Now where is the gauze?" Hank began to search around the room.
"Don't worry". The gauze floated up to Hank's face, but then continued down to Jean's arm, where it proceeded to press the IV site while the needle extracted itself.
"Oh, that's nothing," Jean smirked.
"Well, you'll have to show me your tricks sometime".
Jean laughed. Scott nuzzled his head into her shoulder.
"Well, uh, I'll leave you two alone now," Hank grinned. "But take it easy tonight, you're still recovering".
"Hank!" Scott's head popped up.
"Don't worry, Hank," Jean snickered. "Bye now".
Hank quickly left the room. Jean ran her hand through Scott's hair. He smiled.
**I…uh…don't think…uh…tonight…uh…not a good idea…uh…I mean…I want to…but…we should wait…**
**Don't worry, Scott. I'll take it easy tonight. The med lab's not the most romantic atmosphere anyways. I can wait til we're back in our room. Just hold me**
Jean rolled on her side and Scott held her closer.
**So that sunset I saw in my dreams was real?**
**Yeah. It was amazing. Peter and Kitty saw it, and then pointed it out to me. I couldn't take my eyes off of it. Somehow, at that point I knew I'd find you. It was that point that the connection here** he tapped his head, **got stronger. Feelings became words, and then we were on top of the cave, and we found you and brought you out and the gorgeous sunset was still there even though it should have faded half and hour earlier**
**Do you think you saw it in your dreams because you saw it through my mind?**
**I don't think so…I had this dream so many times…its so odd**
Scott pulled her as close as he could.
**Scott, do you know the story of the Phoenix?"
Scott shook his head sleepily.
**The Phoenix died when everything around it was consumed by flames…and then rose again from its ashes**.
**You're a Phoenix**
**Mmmhmmm** Jean smiled, and nuzzled her head against his chest.
**When are we going to get married?**
**Let's make it really soon**
**Mmmhmm. I love you. I love that you're so anxious to be my husband**
**It's amazing how things like this make you change your priorities**
**How does June sound? That would give us a few months to get ready…we could have a nice, small ceremony here…by the lake. What do you think?**
But Jean was now asleep. Scott smiled and pressed her to him, resting his chin on her hair. Her fiery, red hair. She was his Phoenix.
There will be a sequel to this. I was considering just adding more chapters to this story, but I like it the way it is. But the story isn't done… Give me feedback!